Using the same technology which allows ships to enter the nightmare realm of the Warp, the Distortion Cannon causes an area of the material universe to momentarily collapse in on itself, essentially creating a miniature warp hole. If the target is lucky then violent, complex gravitational forces will merely tear it to pieces, guaranteeing almost certain death to living creatures or total wreckage to vehicles. If not, the target is sucked completely into warp space.
Even those outside the affected area can suffer from adverse consequences as the distortion of reality itself causes people and objects to be spatially displaced, potentially causing further damage. The only disadvantage of the Distortion Cannon is that by Eldar standards it is a short-ranged and inaccurate weapon. To an extent the Distortion Cannon's unpredictability is to be expected, especially for a weapon which makes mockery of the laws of the universe.
The size of the Warp hole created depends on the size of the Distortion Cannon, with larger weapons requiring more power and a larger chassis to mount them. The largest Distortion Cannons are those mounted on Eldar Cobras and Phantom Titans, and even Void Shields are useless against them.[4a] These terrifying weapons are capable of swallowing multiple Battle tanks in one hit, and the shockwave that results from their sudden closure can knock over other armoured vehicles lucky enough to avoid being dragged into the warp.
Efforts by the Adeptus Mechanicus to study and replicate this technology have ended in gruesome failure, particularly in 755299.M40 when unsanctioned work resulted in the Contagion of Eridanus and the deployment of a Grey Knight strike force to halt the Daemonic intrusion. Since that incident draconian measures have been enforced upon the Adeptus Mechanicus to prevent their dabbling in heretical Xeno technology, and those who ignore these restrictions can expect a visit from the Inquisition.
- 1: Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pg. 62
- 2: Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 46
- 3: Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pg. 22
- 4: Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara:
- 5: Path of the Seer (Novel), Destiny, pg. 386
- 6: Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, pg. 83
- 7: Codex: Craftworld Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 12
- 8: http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat1300045&prodId=prod770020a&rootCatGameStyle= (Games Workshop: Distortion Cannon) (site no longer online, no archived version found, last accessed 16 July 2010)